Climate change is intensifying, leading to global warming and triggering extreme climate events affecting all life on Earth. These events create a chain reaction, resulting in droughts, food insecurity, and public health challenges. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, concerted efforts are being made to limit the global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This urgent global agenda requires collaboration and swift action.
TCMA Hosts Meeting of ASEAN Federation of Cement Manufacturers (AFCM)
Dr. Chana Poomee, Chairman of the Thai Cement Manufacturers Association (TCMA), stated, "On behalf of Thailand, the Thai Cement Manufacturers Association is honoured to host the 44th Council Meeting of the ASEAN Federation of Cement Manufacturers (AFCM) on November 23-25, 2023, at the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn in Bangkok. This marks the first in-person AFCM meeting in four years, following the most recent meeting in Singapore in October 2019."
Delegates from seven AFCM member countries are attending the meeting, including Butra HeidelbergCement Sdn Bhd, the Indonesia Cement Association (ICA), The Cement & Concrete Association of Malaysia (C&CA), Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines, Inc. (CeMAP), Cement & Concrete Association of Singapore (CNCAS), Thai Cement Manufacturers Association (TCMA), and Vietnam National Cement Association (VNCA). Additionally, Cambodia Cement Manufacturers Association (CCMA) is participating as an observer for the first time to enhance and further strengthen cooperation among cement manufacturers in ASEAN."
The ASEAN Federation of Cement Manufacturers was established in 1977 with the objective of fostering synergy among cement manufacturers in ASEAN member nations in the areas of business development, technical cooperation, and promoting closer relations and cooperation between the cement manufacturing communities in ASEAN member countries and with other regional and international organisations. This aims to stimulate growth and progress in the ASEAN cement industry. AFCM's member countries include Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Currently, Malaysia holds the position of AFCM President, with member countries taking turns to host meetings annually.
AFCM 2023 Under the Theme "ASEAN Cement Collaboration Towards Decarbonization"
The 44th Council Meeting of AFCM is organised under the theme "ASEAN Cement Collaboration Towards Decarbonization." This theme encompasses the direction, trends, and challenges of the ASEAN cement industry, as well as technical cooperation in greenhouse gas reduction, innovations, alternative materials in cement production, the use of alternative energy to reduce fossil fuel and coal consumption, and resource efficiency in line with the principles of the circular economy, among other topics.
Dr. Chana remarked, "TCMA is grateful for the support from AFCM members, who endorsed Thailand’s initiative to set 'ASEAN Cement Collaboration Towards Decarbonization' as the theme of this meeting. This theme will guide our discussions on various topics and enable the ASEAN cement industry to engage more effectively with the international community, aligning with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to limit global temperature rise."
Fostering Cooperation at the Global, Regional, and National Levels
The AFCM 44th Council Meeting aims to promote cooperation not only among cement manufacturers in ASEAN but also to integrate AFCM's cooperation with leading cement and concrete organisations worldwide. The Thai government, which plays a pivotal role in promoting the transition to a sustainable industry through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, is also involved. To address the urgent challenges of global warming, the AFCM is honoured to welcome Mr. Thomas Guillot, Chief Executive of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), a global organisation representing over 80% of the world's cement production capacity, among other prominent speakers.
Dr. Chana highlighted, "Decarbonization is a challenging task that requires efforts at all levels, including policy, regulation, implementation mechanisms, and actions. The session on 'Collaboration Towards Decarbonization' aims to unite leading cement companies in AFCM member countries for concrete actions toward a low-carbon industry, ensuring long-term competitiveness. AFCM members play a crucial role in achieving the national goals of their respective countries."
AFCM Fully Supports TCMA's Action Towards Net Zero 2050
TCMA is actively working on implementing Thailand's 2050 Net Zero Cement & Concrete Roadmap, aligning Thailand's cement industry with global efforts to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.
Dr. Chana expressed appreciation, saying, "TCMA would like to take this opportunity to thank all AFCM member countries for their support and acknowledgment of TCMA's efforts to propel Thailand's cement industry toward Net Zero emissions over the next 30 years. This represents Thailand's vital role in aligning the cement industry in the ASEAN region with decarbonization goals. Strategic implementation, strengthened cooperation, understanding of implementation mechanisms, and collaboration with all sectors, including government, industry, professionals, academia, and civil society, are essential for success, in line with the roadmap. Ultimately, this will attract investment and promote a smart and sustainable industry in the country."
TCMA Passes the Baton to Vietnam as the Next Host
TCMA's hosting of AFCM 2023 has concluded, and Dr. Chana Poomee, Chairman of TCMA, along with TCMA members, including Thai Pride Cement Co., Ltd., Asia Cement PCL., Jalaprathan Cement PCL., Globe Cement Co., Ltd., TPI Polene PCL., SCG Cement Building Materials Co., Ltd., and Siam City Cement PCL., presented a ceremonial garland adorned with Thai motifs to Vietnam as a symbol of cooperation. Vietnam will host the AFCM 45th Meeting and 22nd Conference next year, marking the official conclusion of the AFCM 44th Council Meeting.
Dr. Chana concluded, "The AFCM 44th Council Meeting has ended successfully, thanks to the collective efforts of all AFCM member countries working together for the future and growth of the cement industry in ASEAN. TCMA, as the host of the meeting, would like to extend our gratitude to all seven AFCM member countries, delegates, both domestic and international, who participated in the AFCM 44th Council Meeting. We also thank TCMA members, staff, and all stakeholders for representing Thai hospitality, warmth, and amicability. TCMA is committed to cooperation with all sectors and is ready to collaborate with AFCM members to build synergy among AFCM member countries toward the decarbonization goal initiated by Thailand. We look forward to active and tangible cooperation and collective action on this critical global agenda."